A GREGGS employee filmed mountains of food she claims was being binned every day – only to be promptly sacked.
Nicole Iwalowo had been working at the branch on Western Road, in Romford, London, for a month when she began to feel bad over seeing food “go to waste”.
In the clip, she said bread and other baked goods would be thrown out[/caption]
She said piles of food was going to be tossed[/caption]
Nicole Iwalowo was sacked for exposing mountains of food binned each day[/caption]
While joking she would probably get fired, the 21-year-old filmed herself bagging up the day’s leftover produce including freshly made sandwiches and sealed packages of bakery goods, like doughnuts and yum yums.
The video shows six bin bags full of food loaded up on a metal cage on November 27, which Nicole claims was later collected by bin men.
She wrote: “There’s people starving around the world and all of this is going to waste.”
The TikTok clip went viral and now stands at more than 450,000 views.
A Greggs spokesperson did not address the video directly, but said the chain works to reduce food waste and is always trying to increase the amount of unsold goods given to those most in need.
The video has triggered thousands of angry comments and complaints to the bakery giant on social media, after which Nicole claims she was sent home from work the next day and fired only a few weeks later.
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Despite being still unemployed, Nicole says she is glad to no longer work at Greggs as she felt “so bad” about the food being thrown away and says it should have been given to charity or food banks.
Nicole, from Romford, East London, said: “Everyday we waste food like that [while working at Greggs]. We do ‘good to go bags’ but that’s only like two bags and then everything else goes to waste.
“That day I just felt the need to record it because I felt really bad throwing away so much food.
“The sandwiches get made fresh everyday with fresh ingredients and that day we threw away [lots and lots of] sandwiches – it was about five bags full of baguettes, pasta and yum yums.
“With the bakery, on a regular day, we waste [lots more] items a day as well.
“The sandwiches weren’t expiring there were just too many – it’s the company policy that sandwiches are freshly made every day so they just have to get thrown away for some odd reason.
“They should give it to charity or or just hand it out to homeless people. There’s a hostel near the store and lots of homeless people in the area.
The TikTok clip went viral and has already racked up more than 450,000 views[/caption]
While joking she would probably get fired, the 21-year-old filmed herself bagging up the day’s leftover produce[/caption]
“I just feel bad, I didn’t even want to work there after that.”
The bakery chain’s official policy states that it ‘hates food waste’ and that “donating unsold food to those in need is our priority”.
This food is donated through partnerships with charities and sold at discounted prices through outlets shops and the app ‘Too Good To Go’, but the statement admits that not every store has these partnerships in place.
It also states that for stores where none of the above partnerships have been put in place to donate leftovers, any unsold food is ‘returned and transformed into renewable energy’.
The chain claims that “all unsold food is one hundred percent diverted from landfill”.
They should give [the food] to charity or or just hand it out to homeless people. There’s a hostel near the store and lots of homeless people in the area
However, in the 20 to 24 hours a week that Nicole worked at the store for a month, she claims to have seen bag-fulls of freshly made, unsold food going to waste every day.
Nicole said: “I asked them about it and they always have the same answer which is – ‘you are aware that we do good to go bags’ but that’s only two bags.
“Maybe because they don’t close on the shift they don’t realise how much food is being wasted or maybe they’re aware of it but just too scared to speak up.
“They said they donate some to charity but I’ve never seen a charity truck come to the store so what’s to say that it’s going to any of the other stores and other staff said they never saw a charity truck either.
“Staff aren’t allowed to take any leftover food home, again just because of company policy.
“Apparently they used to let you take some home but people were selling it so now you have to pay for it or it goes in the bin.”
‘CAN’T COME INTO WORK’
After her TikTok went viral – with almost 450,000 views, more than 6,000 likes and more than 3,500 comments – Nicole says she was immediately put on probation by her manager.
A month later she was fired via a zoom meeting, just before Christmas, and is now still looking for another job.
Nicole said: “The next day at work they told me I couldn’t work.
“They let me get dressed for my shift and everyone was staring at me and then the big manager told me to come into the meeting room and said ‘you can’t come into work until further notice’.
“On my video I wrote ‘watch me get fired’ and they said ‘you were being a bit petty about that so you knew what you were doing’.
“I thought it was a bit unfair, they could’ve given me a second chance and told me to delete the video.”
A spokesperson for Greggs said: “We have a number of initiatives in place to help reduce food waste across our shops including the redistribution of unsold food to community groups and charities.
“We are continually working to increase the amount of unsold food given away to those most in need and remain committed to putting an end to food waste.”
Nicole claims the food was later collected by bin men[/caption]
she claims to have seen bag-fulls of freshly made, unsold food going to waste every day.[/caption]